Kayla Janowitz, better known by her stage name After Ours, is a talented singer-songwriter and musician who hails from New York City. Born and raised in Bergen County, New Jersey, with a brief stint in Beijing during her early childhood, Kayla’s multicultural upbringing played a significant role in shaping her musical journey.
Music has been a part of Kayla’s life from an early age, thanks in large part to her mother’s influence. Her mother, a classically trained opera singer who moved from mainland China to Hong Kong to pursue her dreams, instilled a love for music in Kayla’s heart. Despite losing most of her Mandarin fluency over the years, the melodies and passion of her mother’s opera performances left a lasting impression. Throughout her adolescence, Kayla found inspiration in her older brother, Rocky, a multi-talented musician, fueled Kayla’s love for music by constantly introducing her to new artists like The Beatles. This introduction to the Beatles’ music sparked Kayla’s love for music and set her on a new trajectory. As her brother honed his guitar skills in various genres, including punk, hardcore, and gypsy jazz, Kayla became an integral part of his musical journey. Singing jazz standards alongside him during his practice sessions, Kayla developed her own voice and style. Singing covers became her outlet for musical expression, and she simultaneously learned to play guitar, expanding her repertoire of chords with each new song she tackled. Drawing inspiration from a diverse range of artists such as Angel Olsen, Velvet Underground, Billie Holiday, Dr. Dog, Little Joy and the Beatles , Kayla’s musical tastes evolved and influenced her own unique sound.
During a particularly challenging period marked by health issues, Kayla found solace in her love for music. It was during this time that she reconnected with Paul Casetluzzo (Hether), a friend she had known for several years. Paul, the brother of Rocky’s close friend Charlie, had a shared passion for music and had become an accomplished guitarist in his own right. When Kayla shared a voice memo of the first song she had written, “One Last Time,” with Paul, he immediately recognized her talent and potential. Inspired by her voice and songwriting abilities, he enthusiastically agreed to help her bring her music to life. Paul’s belief in her artistry fueled Kayla’s confidence and propelled her forward on her musical journey.
The creation of Kayla’s debut record as After Ours was a transformative experience. Initially separated by distance, with Kayla in New Jersey and Paul in San Diego, they embarked on a collaborative process, exchanging demos and instrumental tracks virtually. Despite the challenges of working remotely, their shared passion and dedication resulted in a cohesive and authentic sound. Eventually, Kayla made the move to California, bringing her closer to Paul and allowing them to fully immerse themselves in the creative process. They continued to refine and perfect their music, with Kayla recording most of her vocals in her bedroom, surrounded by tangled wires and the determination to capture the essence of her art. After Ours’ debut EP reflects the culmination of their collaborative efforts. Each track showcases Kayla’s introspective songwriting, soulful vocals and Paul’s seamless production that pushes the music into a zone of total timelessness.